Master The Use Of Calipers


Calipers have been used for hundreds of years in one form or another. They are used to take basic measurements, and they are the one tool that many self-respecting carpenters cannot do without. They are also used by engineering firms to help with inspection. Today, there are a range of different types of calipers. These are: wireless, Vernier, electronic and digital. Calipers give a precise measurement but mastering them is an essential skill that needs to be acquired to ensure you get the most accurate measurement.

Inconsistent Results

Whilst you are still getting to grips with this tool your results may initially be a little erratic. This is because you need to be consistent in how you use the caliper, as well as positioning as well as your interpretation of the results. Over time, you will find you can use it much more easily and your results will be more consistent.

Digital Calipers

Although these are much easier to use and interpret than Vernier calipers, they still require you to be skillful. To ensure you take the correct measurement you should ensure the jaw of the caliper is square to the part being measured. You should grip the caliper firmly but do not hold it so hard that it affects the material being measured. Keep the part being measured as close to the frame of the calipers as you can. You will then see the dimensions on the handy caliper digital display.

Using A Digital Caliper Correctly

To start you should close the caliper to allow the jaws to come together. This will display “0 on the readout. You should then open and close the jaws a few times to ensure you get a consistent “0 readout. It is essential you get the zero readout a number of time before proceeding to measure your part.

Measuring Correctly

Place the caliper parallel with the part to be measured. Ensure the jaws of the caliper are square with the part. After measuring, you should remove the caliper and check the “0 status again and then measure the part a few times, remembering to “0 each time. This will ensure you get the most accurate readout.

Compound Measurements

The beauty with digital calipers is that they can also take compound measurements. This is because you can take it to z0 at any point during your calculations and measuring.

Keep Your Instrument Up To The Job

You should ensure you keep your caliper safely stored away where it cannot deteriorate. Before use always check for signs of wear and tear and you should also calibrate it at least once a year.

Is A Caliper The Correct Tool For The Job?

Although calipers are incredibly versatile, and the measurements are very accurate, you may need to consider a gage for a job that requires more accurate measurements. This is particularly true if the tolerance for a job is tight. In that case you may need a micrometer that can provider a measurement with a higher degree of accuracy.

by George Chitos